By Luke Voogt
Torquay single mum and Yorta Yorta woman Corina Muir is taking charge of her destiny by running her own children’s clothing label.
“As an Aboriginal woman, I have never felt more empowered in the choices that I make than in running my own business,” she said.
“We make 100 per cent of decisions based on what the impacts are.
“We ask ‘how is this impacting our environment and people?’ We want to make a positive impact rather than a negative.
“Every collection we collaborate with a different female Aboriginal artist. We showcase a story of where they come from with their artwork.”
Corina moved from Brunswick to Torquay in February 2020, just before COVID-19 hit, with her daughter Sapphire.
“I was just waiting for her to get a bit older and a bit more independent so we could move down without it being too far from family,” she said.
Before Sapphire’s birth four years ago, Corina had worked in family violence and child protection.
But despite having a caring and understanding employer, she struggled to return to the structure of office work.
“I went back to full-time work with [Sapphire] but I really struggled with the balance,” she said.
“We kind of set up our society in that nine-to-five [model]. That makes it really hard for single parents and women in general.
“We’re not really set up to give women choice with how they parent and how they work.”
At the time her clothing label, Amber Days, was “more a hobby”.
“I was working more on yoga and leisure wear,” she explained.
But Sapphire inspired her to pursue children’s clothing and the label turned into a full-time gig.
Corina’s family originally hails from Echuca, and she turned to her Yorta Yorta heritage in designing clothes.
She describes deciding who she works with, what fabrics and dyes she uses and choosing what “feels right for you culturally” for her business as empowering.
“I get to share my culture and other aboriginal cultures around Australia,” she said.
She also had some pro-bono help from not-for-profit group Global Sisters to take her business to the next level.
“We had released two collections and were approached by quite a few big retailers,” she said.
“I needed some support to be investment-ready. Lisa from Global Sisters gave me some financial advice.”
Corina hopes to provide an example for her daughter to follow with her business.
“She’s absolutely my inspiration – she’s pretty much my everything,” she said.
“She’s my little assistant – [recently] she was even designing a dress!”